We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.
--- Napoleon Hill
Distinguished, by the grace and mercies of God we are gathered again for another round of discuss on issues that affect our community.
The gathering also avails those of us whom you have been saddled with your mandate to lead, and render an account of stewardship. I am glad to be a part of this history-making event.
The duration of our account rendering falls below a year. However, I am glad that within this said short period, we have recorded visible achievements, an evident testament of a responsible grassroots government in place.
It is expedient to state that these noble achievements have not come without their accompanying daunting challenges.
For instance, just like before and are still, constantly faced with inadequate resources to run government.
This is own to a lot of factors like the meager statutory allocation from the federal government, and increasing tax evasion by some of our people.
Aside poor funding, there is also the unco-operative tendencies of some of our people, who instead of complimenting government’s effort, indulge in the direct opposite actions inimical to our society’s development.
Despite all, we have remained resolute in the pursuit of credible governance. And in all of our dealings we have been guided by a pro-people’s agenda to maximize our resources and opportunities and bring about the greatest good to the greatest number of our people.
In primary health and education, two vital sectors of any grassroots community, our policy to touch lives has been enduring.
We have continued to dispense free drugs to those who fall within the vulnerable age grade of 0-16 & 60-above; and 10% discount to those outside these age brackets.
The budget for the free drugs programme has been increased by 100%, and in all we have expended N8 million till date with 17, 636 people as beneficiaries of the free drugs programme.
Already, the programme is resolving the complex case of high cost of getting quality health care services in our community thus, achieving the objective of the programme, vis; to increase the net financial power of our people to take care of other pressing needs while still getting quality health care service.
Other free services under our health policy include ante natal and post natal services.
Today we have six PHCs within the local government; some of them are given adequate facelifts, i.e. the Festac Town, Mile II and Abule Ado PHCs.
Within the said period under review, we took delivery of a PHC at Tomaro Island, one of our coastal communities, donated to us by the US Consulate, and we thank the US government for that generosity and other partnership existing between us, and not forgetting the British government and its Agency, the UK Trade Investment (UKTI).
This administration has also supported all Lagos state health programmes so much as to ensure their success in the local government. Prominent among, which are the Eko Free Health Mission, the 1st and 2nd round of National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs), the 9th round of hypertension and diabetes screening, etc.
Within the said period we have engaged the services of 21 doctors, to increase the number of our doctors from one, which the administration met at its commencement.
We also engaged nurses and community health workers. This aside, several medical financial assistance rendered to different categories of people ranging from N50, 000 per person to N3,000,000 and a whole lot more.
On education, we have not relented in pursuing our goal for qualitative education.
We consider this the lasting heritage a government can bequeath its people.
Under this sector and within the time frame under review, we have once again distributed 500 free JAMB forms to indigent students of our community, making it a cumulative of 1,500 free forms.
In addition, we engaged the services of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) to organize free tutorials for their benefits.
We have organized the “Spelling Bee” competition and Children’s Parliament for this year.
We sponsored 24 students on a tour of three states namely Ondo, Ekiti and Osun where they visited historical sites such as Ikogosi warm spring, Idanre Hills, Opa Oramiyan, Erin Ile water fall, and a courtesy call to the Executive Governor, the State of Osun, where they were warmly received by His Excellency, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
In partnership with Meljestein organization, the 3rd Amuwo Odofin Essay Competition was held.
We staged a unique Children’s Day celebration, in partnership with Hoppers Foundation.
We have taken delivery of an IT centre at 7th Avenue Primary School donated by the Federal Government.
Our vocational centre at Abule-ado has been considered for total rehabilitation and upgrading, while discussion is going on to acquire a property in Festac town that will serve as a vocational centre.
We have reached the advanced stage for the distribution of 420,000 exercise books, 7,000 customized bags, and 2,000 life jackets.
Magic Boards and Markers have been considered to be provided at our primary schools, while a process is ongoing to engage 40 non-pensionable teachers to compliment the efforts of the existing Primary school teachers.
We are about commencing also, the building of more primary schools at the riverine communities.
On infrastructures, our effort has been very notisable, given the time frame under consideration.
A major project under this sector is the rehabilitation and resurfacing of 21 Road (phase I) starting from 11th Road Junction to12th Road.
The phase II (interlocking) of 21 Road is near completion, though the present heavy rain is hampering the progress of works at the site despite that workers still continue to move the project forward.
We have also repaired many bad roads within our community while the Lagos State Government through the Public Works Corporation have also supported in many areas.
Among roads rehabilitated in the last eight months are 71road, part of 23 road, 51 road, 52 road, 24 road, 41 Road, 4th Avenue, part of 5th Avenue and the entrance of 711 and 712 Roads.
I will like to quickly call on the attention of the federal government to our plight in the area of road maintenance. I call for the increase in the funding of its agency, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to enable it serve its purpose of maintaining the Festac Estate.
We have only done what we can in rehabilitating several roads, but that does not translate into the transfer of such responsibility of the federal government to us.
Festac Town is the federal government’s property and it reserves the responsibility to maintain it. What we do as a grassroots government should be mere complimentary.
It will take only a visit to the local government secretariat to appreciate our effort in changing the face of the work environment.
We have constructed the council chapel and mosque, upgraded the Supervisors and Special Advisers’ block, renovated the administrative building, reconstructed the generator house at the council secretariat, provided quality modern furniture for offices, and so on.
AGRIC, YOUTH, AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT.
The Local government has voted the sum of N4,000,000 this year, to its partner campdavid, a sport outfit to be drawn monthly for the development of sports in the community.
We sponsored athletes to the 2012 Ibile Sports Festival were we came 7th from the 32nd position we took two years ago.
We have procured sporting equipments and kits like bicycles, hand gloves, punching bags, head gears, etal.
As a means of identifying talents we organized a marathon race, cycling competition, we partnered in a chess competition, and soccer games et al.
The 3rd annual music festival was held in grand style where notable artist such as Cabo Snoop from Angola, Dj Zeez, Durella, Tony Tetuila, Chuddy K, Baba D, Face, Made, Rugged Man, Azadous, Ekwe the stereo man, W4, and several upcoming artists and A-list musical stars performed to the delight of over 5,000 people who attended that show.
To fight poverty in our community, the local government through its Micro-credit finance scheme that grants soft loans to residents at 1.5% interest rate, has already touched several lives.
At present a total of 648 people have applied for the loan, out of which 271 have already benefitted and 43 others have been approved to benefit from the scheme while others are still being considered.
I need to inform that the micro-credit scheme is still on course and I encourage you to maximize the opportunity.
We have taken the course of our environment very seriously within this said period, given the consequences of climate change globally.
Desilting of drainage has been a continuous exercise, beautification of the surrounding has been pursued with vigour, with the planting of 500 trees of various species to make it a cumulative of 4,500 trees planted by this administration; we have taken pro-active steps on environment through the climate change unit, that was established in the last eight months.
On information, an area we consider as the nucleus of this administration, we have reposition the department and its activities in order to establish an effective communication and feed back process with members of the public.
It is our believe that this is required to reduce the avoidable friction that sometimes arise between the government and the society due to lack of effective communication.
As a consequence, at the start of this year we commenced the production of Amuwo Prism, a weekly bulletin meant to constantly inform members of the public about our weekly activities.
10,000 copies of this newsletter are printed weekly, making it a cumulative of 230,000 copies printed in the last eight months.
This is aside our quarterly news magazine, Amuwo-Herald.
For the time under consideration, we have printed for three quarters at 5,000 copies per quarter, making it a cumulative of 15,000 copies that have been printed.
We have ensured a collective effort at community policing.
We have achieved this through our regular Peace and Security Committee Meeting, which involve the police, army, navy, SSS, immigration, civil defense, NDLEA, LASTMA, KAI, Neighbourhood Watch, traditional rulers and religious organizations.
These meetings have so far helped in taking pro-active steps in securing our community.
In addition, we have also organized proficiency training for paramilitary groups engaged by the local government such as the Man O’ War officials, on practical ways to secure lives and property at the grassroots.
We are also planning to engage the WAI Brigade.
Talk is ongoing to engage the services of Blue Waters, a security outfit from the UK, to man our gate particularly, in Festac Town, to compliment the efforts of the police and other security agencies within our local government.
May I inform that the people of this Local Government will be employed for this purpose.
A task force on environment will also be formed soonest to comprise members of the security Committee, i.e. the police, civil defense, KAI and WAI Brigades, Man O War, and if need be, the military, in order to provide for back-up.
Distinguished, this is a synoptic review of some of the activities we have been engaged in since the commencement of this tenure barely eight months ago.
Our noble achievements notwithstanding, we are not resting on our oars until we get to our reachable goals.
At this juncture, it is important to address certain critical issues like the decision of some residents to indulge in activities capable of retarding social development and make mockery of our efforts.
For instance, environmental pollution, degradation, and defacing of our community is fast becoming a common sight in this local government, so much that, our once beautiful community that we are trying to reposition is now put in reversal by the careless act of a few.
It is now common to see people doing their businesses on walkways, median, and recreational parks.
They are involved in improper waste management and unsanitary practices and causing noise pollution with impunity, et al.
I wish to use this medium to appeal to all genuine stakeholders of Amuwo-Odofin project that all your civic actions must be complimentary to government’s effort if our society must move forward.
As a government we will not relent in discharging our constitutional responsibility to protect our environment.
We shall use the ambit of the law against any offender, without fear or favour.
Distinguished, the issue of taxation must be taken as a civic responsibility.
I have always said that no grassroots government can succeed relying only on statutory allocation.
We have, and are still working hard to create an enabling environment for corporate excellence, so that in turn all will pay their levies and rates.
Our lofty programmes demand huge fund for actualization and that is where you come in as responsible citizens of our community.
For instance, in the coming times we intend to embark on huge projects that will bring positive bearing on our people, using Public Private Partnership as a drive.
We are planning the council flat housing project that will have 24 flats, and to be equipped with a mini mart, swimming pool and other amenities.
There are also the 206 and 204 recreation parks, the Amuwo-Odofin Ferry and Bus Transit scheme, the ultra-modern civic centre at 1st gate, the proposed “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Freedom House” legislative building, the construction of town hall, construction and renovation of schools, boreholes construction and rehabilitation, drainage and road construction at various parts of our communities.
We have embarked on a series of journey overseas to discuss with international partners on investment opportunities in our community in the areas of environmental sustainability, safe energy production, youth empowerment, transportation, and a whole lot more.
In all of these, which have been projected to create a lot of jobs, we cannot play down your support if we are to achieve headway.
It is on this note that I will like to sue for the patience and understanding of all.
These two virtues are required for a government to succeed.
Every body’s need cannot be satisfied at once, but we are making effort to provide the maximum good to the greatest number of our people.
We have pushed plans to an advanced stage where we all shall soon be living witnesses to the positive transformation that will benefit our community.
Despite the daunting challenges on our path to development, we remained committed to our solemn election campaign vow to maximize scarce resources to better the lots of our people, and coordinate our potentials towards establishing an enduring legacy in our environment.
I want to thank everybody for supporting us thus far and for being strong partners in progress.
Lets not forget that Amuwo-Odofin belongs to us all; it is our collective responsibility to ensure its development.
The Environment has provision for our needs but not for our greed.
I thank you for your patience and lucid attention.
Long Live Amuwo Odofin Local Government
Long Live Lagos State
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria
Eko oni baje o!
COMRADE AYODELE ADEWALE
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AMUWO-ODOFIN LGA.